Gusto cooks up real-time TV play

The in-house produced Live FEED gives audiences an unedited and unscripted window into the world of fine-dining kitchens.
Copied from Media in Canada - Gusto TV

Gusto TV is taking a page out of Ratatouille‘s script to give viewers a front-row perch to peek into the kitchens of one of Ottawa’s fine dining spaces.

The behind-the-scenes, unedited and commercial-free live-to-tape tour of the Beckta Dining & Wine Bar kitchen is the first execution of its kind for the company and will premiere under the title Live FEED. The show is produced by Gusto TV’s in-house production team.

The show, which will air live for six hours during primetime, will give viewers an all-round view of the acrobatics in the kitchen as chefs, sous-chefs and their support staff juggle kitchen-patrol, orders and clean-up. The Ottawa kitchen will be the first one to be featured on Live FEED. Future live feeds could take viewers into the kitchens of a New York deli or a small Spanish haunt, according to Knight. 

The idea developed as a sort of reaction to some of the reality-TV kitchen shows currently on the air, says Chris Knight, CEO of Gusto TV. The channel’s indie position in comparison to broadcasting powerhouses like Food Network Canada drove the channel’s decision to experiment with form and content for Live FEED.  “It’s small companies that innovate and take chances,” he says.

In order to shoot the real-time feed, two cameramen take 3.5 hours to place 10 cameras around the kitchen, and switch the cameras positioning as the evening progresses. The channel is stripping ambient kitchen sound and layering it with house, acid jazz and funk from its music library.

The objective, says Knight, is to have people tune in to the channel as they go about their evening, targeting its largely female (78%) audience that he says is skewing younger with time – 36.5% of its viewership is under the age of 40.

Live FEED premieres on Gusto TV on Aug. 29 at 6:00 p.m. ET. It will air commercial free for now but if ratings prove that the experiment is a success, Knight says he will be open to branding opportunities. The channel hopes to run the feed weekly or fortnightly based on ratings. 

- From Media in Canada